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BMCC or 5Dm3


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Hi folks,


It is fun time out there for getting a new camera.


I m about to shoot a short narative film, and hopefully soon a feature narative. They are boh very low budget mind you, but they are (or will be soon) a work of love nevertheless.


I need to buy a new camera for these shoots (and few more, that are hopefully coming.


The two cameras that I have mostly been looking in lately are BMCC mft mount and Canon 5dm3. Blackmagic has been almost a go for me (mostly because I could use my LOMO lenses with it), but since ML guys got RAW on 5D, my mind is going that way. I didn't have time to closely follow the updates on ML RAW, so I don't know if it is stable yet, and I need a stable (or as stable as possible system). I m not very good "hacker". I had so much fun with my hacked GH2, but it gave me troubles on two paid gigs (probably my fault), but than I decided to sell it and go with something more stable. Tha's why BMCC seems like a great bang for buck, but overlooking some of Andrew's posts and forum here, I m really getting bouth on the whole 5dm3 ML RAW thing.

Any thoughts would be apreciated.

I guess the price of the cameras are similar, considering all the add ons needed for both of them - BMCC is probably little cheaper, but considerably.

Thanks for any insights.


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Not owning either camera, I feel this is my sweet spot of expertise :)  The clips I see from the 5Dmiii are staggeringly good.  ML is probably more stable for that camera because the users are more professional.  HOWEVER, my general experience with ML RAW is that the devs spend 98% of their time on new features and 2% of their time on stability.  So if you are going to use ML RAW, once you have your camera working the way you want it DO NOT CHANGE hacks in the middle of your project.  

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I prefer the image on the BMCC, but not enough that it overwhelms other considerations. If you like to shoot a lot of handheld and or really make use of it as a stills camera, I'd probably go with the 5D3. If you are going to be using tripods or other forms of stabilization I'd go with the BMCC.


The ability to shoot to SSD is a huge plus for me. I can store and edit a bunch of footage directly off it, without having to dump a bunch of footage between shoots.


I recommend spending a lot of time watching the best clips both systems have offer, focusing on the types of shots you envision yourself using.

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Thanks a lot for your replays.


So is ML hack stable now? Sorry for my ignorance. I tried going through several threads on this forum, but there is an overwhelming amount of information, so it gets very confusing.

Is it 2K RAW or above and what are the file types? Is it Cinema DNG, and is there a crop factor?

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Milan -- what is it that you really need in a camera? ML RAW or even BMCC RAW isn't the end-all, be-all. If you are shooting a documentary, you likely aren't shooting RAW. You can get a lot more RAW on a SSD drive than a CF card.


Do you have a budget for rigging, batteries and SSDs for the BMCC? Do you have a computer that can handle RAW editing?


It isn't clear what you really want and need -- so you may have a hard time getting a solid answer from folks here. Are you going to shoot RAW 100% of the time?


From what I've seen, RAW images on both BMCC and 5D3 are very similar. However, if you are shooting ProRes from the BMCC versus H.264 from the 5D3, the BMCC wins. 

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Yes, Ben is right.  I'd almost say, 'If you have to ask what CinemaDNG is you can't afford RAW (mental-health wise, if not financially)."  You have to have a lot of expertise to work with RAW footage, in any format.  It is not watchable by itself.  It looks like a green mess.


I'm not saying it's too hard for you or you're not smart enough.  What I'm saying is that thousands of the World's best video and imaging engineers have spent millions of man hours in creating technology/software that will take a camera's sensor data and make a very pleasing video.  To do that, they throw out a lot of information which you can't get back.  IF, and this is a big IF, you want to get your video to have a certain look you may need some of that information that is in the RAW data.  Again, you "may".


But if you don't need that information, if you need video that looks great to just about EVERYONE, then you're re-inventing the wheel.  Because in the end, you have to get to a video that will play on the equipment everyone uses and which, again, gazillions of dollars have been spent making cameras do that out of the box.


I love RAW because it gives you a high dynamic range that I like.  It's also mostly a hobby.    At this point, you can see lots of RAW clips, but few real productions made with RAW because of all the difficulties mentioned above.


If all this resonates with you I'd get the Canon 5D mark III.  It does decent video out of the box, has lots of lens choices, good video, etc.  IF you want to go RAW you can later on.  If you must have high dynamic range, then I would go with the BM camera, because for those who know they want RAW data-source quality and don't care about photography, that camera makes it easier (but NOT easy).


Hope this helps.

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I just finished a shoot (about an hour ago) on 5D MKii, a hired one not hacked at all, and despite not having focus peaking it was a breeze and the footage is great. 


I've yet to use the BMD cam but I'll ry my friends MFT mount one soon and report back. It' seems from what most say that it needs a gentler treatment and more rigging!


If I had my own 5D MKiii I'd use Magic Lantern for sure. I only wish it wasn't 8-bit.


The Blackmagic does have the great ProRes, add that to film mode and you have loadsa latitude, easily enough if you use it right, I think that's the camera's strong point.


When I've used Alexa I've never used raw, and it always looked great. ProRes is awesome.


The man above is right though, raw is very beautiful, flexible and forgiving, but comes with a lot of extra expense and considerations at the moment. Analyse carefully whether you want it or not.

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Thank everybody for your insights. I m sorry for late replay, as I was out for couple of days on work and did not have steady access to internet.

I would need camera mainly for short and feature dramatic (narrative) fillms. Not really documentaries. However most of these upcoming productions are low budget.

I believe that for the price of 5dM3 I can get BMCC and BMPCC and shoot pro ress untill I m able to push the budget higher in order to support RAW workflow cost. This way I would be able to shoot with 2 cam set up which I preffer much more to single cam shoot.

Down the line I would lofe to have that FF camera too, but I guess I will have to go one step at a time.

Thanks again.

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Bmcc is just as easily a one man crew as a 5D. Pulling out a 5" ssd isnt any more work than pulling out a 2" CF card. You wouldnt be swapping out as often either.

True dat. 


There are only a handful of CF cards that are reliable (key word) -enough to do ML raw and they're pretty pricey compared to SSD's.  Komputer Bay cards seem to be hit and miss with people, and the only one I've seen that had the blessing of "best" and also has enough storage not to be a waste of time is the Lexar 128gb 1000x...  That is around $700? =  30 minutes of ML raw on a Mark 3. 


I've not yet ran into a situation with the BMC that needed a crew.  lol


p.s.  Post stabilization is a lot better with 2.5k than 1080.  ...if you're into that sort of thing.  Maybe even reframing.

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